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Genetics and Evolution: A detailed and informative guide for you

24 Dec, 2022, By Tanvi Sharma

Genetics and evolution

Before reading about genetics and evolution let's first learn about both concepts individually. Genetics is concerned with the branch of science that deals with the study of genes, genetic variations, and heredity in organisms. Genes are a type of genetic guidance that is composed of DNA. This guidance is used for the formation of molecules and also synchronizes the chemical reactions' life. These proceed from parent to offspring.

What are genetics?

You must have studied the nucleus present in the nucleus of the cell. During the fertilization and gamete formation process the DNA of male and female gametes combine to form a new DNA. In order to transfer the biological information that is necessary for the growth of the organism the same DNA gets transferred to the cell of the offspring. This substance is referred to as a gene commonly and biologically. Gene is a result of DNA molecules arranged in the form of a helical structure. The study of the genes described above is termed genetics.

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Evolution is the hereditary change in the population of organisms over varied generations. The traits that the offspring inherits during the process of reproduction are the articulation of genes that were copied and transmitted during the same. The heritable traits are necessary for survival and reproduction become more common while the harmful traits are uncommon.

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What is evolution?

Life started 3.6 billion years ago with unicellular organisms or prokaryotic bacteria. In the later stages, life became more structured and developed into more structured cellular organisms called eukaryotic organisms. The eukaryotic organisms were transformed into more bigger and complex organisms in the later stages. But with the passage of time diversity has modified, it was nothing in comparison to what we see on earth today. Plants and animals have altered considerably over their ancient predators with the passage of time. This is known as evolution.

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Evolutionary Genetics

The study of how genetics leads to evolutionary changes is known as Evolutionary genetics. It entails the study of the evolution of the structure of the genome. It is the aggregate of population genetics and evolution. The process by which the size and structure of the genome alerts over time is known as genome evolution. The prokaryote genome advances with the help of mutation, transduction, and horizontal gene transfer.

Genetics and evolution: What is Evolutionary Genetics?

Evolutionary genetics is the process of how genetic variation contributes to evolutionary changes. It incorporates the evolution of the genome structure, the genetic basis of adaptation and specification, and genetic changes in reaction to population selection. It is the aggregate of the genetics and evolution of the population.

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Evolution of Structure of Genome

The process by which a genome modifies its structure and size over a period of time is known as genome evolution. The evolution of the prokaryotic genome occurs through a number of methods-mutation, horizontal gene transfer, and transduction. The mutation can be taken as any permanent change in the body's nucleotide sequence.

While Horizontal gene transfer is a process of moving genetic material from donor to recipient that is different from vertical transfer.

Mechanism of Genome Evolution

1. Duplication of Genes

It is the process of duplication of a specific DNA region. It happens due to recombination, aneuploidy, transposition, polyploidy, and error in DNA replication.

2. Transposable Components

These are the components of a DNA region that can be placed anywhere in the genome. For example- Ty elements in Drosophila. The commonly found element in humans is Sequence Alu.

3. Mutations

Unforced mutations are in charge of changes in the genome. The nucleotide sequence modifies that then results in a frameshift mutation that transforms the genome and is the most common prokaryote.

4. Exon's Shuffling

In this process, two exons from varied genes come together. This process is formed due to the creation of new genes. Due to a result of this, a new gene is inserted into the genome.

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Mechanisms of Genome Evolution: The different types

Gene duplication

It occurs when a particular DNA region is duplicated. It can happen due to recombination, transposal, aneuploidy, polyploidy, and replication of the slippage. Gene replication via recombination takes place when there is an irregular crossing at the time of meiosis.

Transposable Elements

It is a region of the DNA that can be planted anywhere in the genome either by the "cutting and paste mechanism" or by the "copy and paste mechanism."

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The unconstrained mutations often cause modifications in the genome. Mutations prompt modifications in the nucleotide sequence that persuades the mutation of the frameshift, thereby transforming the genome. It is commonly seen in prokaryotes and is also the method of adaptation of the genome.

Exon shuffling

This process involves the assembling of two exons of two different genes or replicating the same exon. This is the process through which new genes are created. It adds a new gene to the genome and plays an important role in the evolution of the genome.


How are genetics and evolution related?

Genetic differences that modify gene activity or protein function can provide several traits in an organism if a trait benefits and helps an individual survive and reproduce, the genetic variation is more likely to be passed to the next generation.

How is DNA used to explain evolution?

DNA shows that all species have one common ancestor, providing evidence for evolution.

What are the 6 stages of evolution?

The 6 stages of evolution have been listed below:

1. Dryopithecus

2. Ramapithecus

3. Australopithecus

4. Homo Erectus

5. Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis

6. Homo Sapiens Sapiens

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